Tag Archives: family

8 Pinterest Dinner Recipes I’ve Actually Tried–Healthy and Family-Friendly

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Pinterest has become my go-to for new recipes, but so many of them are tagged with “this is the best recipe I’ve ever tried!”

They can’t all be the best, can they?

Now that I’ve tried a few of these “best ever” recipes, I can honestly say, no, they can’t.

But some of them were good. Really good.

To help you navigate the labyrinth (and genius) that is Pinterest, here are some of those yummy recipes that I’ve actually tried and what I (and my family) thought of them.

These recipes are healthy and family-friendly. Sorry this list is a little heavy on the Mexican food side– my family loves Mexican & Tex-Mex so I’m always looking for good recipes in that category.

Sweet Hawaiian Crockpot Chicken

sweet-hawaiian-crockpot-chickenRecipe HERE.


Hale Household Review— 3/5 stars. I made this using half of the chicken it called for so I halved the other ingredients, too. I was super-busy that day, so I started it in the crock-pot late and it didn’t get to cook for 5-6 hours. The chicken was done, but it probably would have been even better if I had let it cook all day. My fault. The chicken was good. Plenty sweet– you could actually cut back a tad on the brown sugar. I served it over rice with a pineapple rings and a green veggie on the side.

Smothered Chickensmothered chicken

Recipe HERE.


Hale Household Review— 5/5 stars. This was yummy. I left off the mushrooms for my husband and oldest son and kept them for myself and my middle son. We all agreed that this one could stay on our menu rotation.

Tomato-Corn Biscuit Pie

tomato corn biscuit pie

Recipe HERE.


Hale Household Review— 4/5 stars. I loved this recipe. It was light and delicious– perfect for a summer meal. However, the biscuit was a little thick. I almost wonder if this recipe wouldn’t work with something more buttery, like crescent rolls. I’m going to try that next time. There will definitely be a next time.

Bada-Bean-Bada-Boom Mealbadabeanbadaboom

Recipe HERE.


Hale Household Review— 4/5 stars. This was a fun way to get my boys to eat tuna without realizing it. It’s so much like a Tex-Mex dip that I served it with tortilla chips for dipping and a small green salad on the side. My boys also loved saying the name of this meal. 🙂

Ravioli with Salsa Black Bean Sauce

ravioli with black bean sauce

Recipe HERE.


Hale Household Review— 3/5 stars. This one was SPICY. Next time I’ll need to cut back on the chili powder and cumin and definitely not add the red pepper flakes I threw in for fun. (Duh.) The next time I make this, I’m sure it will get 5/5 stars.

Oven Baked Chimichangasoven baked chimis

Recipe HERE.


Hale Household Review— 3/5 stars. I had never cooked with chipotle chiles in adobo sauce before, so I put in the entire can. I almost killed my children. Yeah– it was that spicy. Even after I tried to cool it by mixing in some sour cream and adding some grilled corn, it was eye-watering hot. My 4 year-old drank 3 cups of milk and 2 glasses of water after only a few bites. (How was I to know? The can was tiny!) Next time I’ll use just a bit or I’ll substitute with a can of tomatoes & green chiles. With toned down heat, this recipe could be deeeee-lish.

Healthy Baked Salmon Nuggets

salmon nuggets

Recipe HERE.


Hale Household Review— 5/5 stars. My husband and I don’t care for seafood, so it’s a wonder that my boys seem to really like it. I tried this specifically for my oldest who loves salmon, and I enjoyed these, too! They are a super-yummy and healthy substitute for store-bought fish sticks or chicken nuggets. Give these a try for sure.

Quinoa Black Bean Burgersblack bean burgers

Recipe HERE.


Hale Household Review— 5/5 stars. This recipe was DELICIOUS. Add a little ranch dressing on top or some salsa and mmmmmm… everyone in the house enjoyed these.

I hope you enjoy these recipes. To check out what else I’m pinning, be sure to click on the Pinterest icon on the right side of the blog and follow me!

Share with me: Got any delicious and healthy family favorites you care to share?

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Filed under Cool Stuff I Recommend, Family, Just For Fun, Uncategorized

Building a Family the Non-Traditional Way– A Guest Post from Katie Ganshert

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I don’t remember the exact details of how Jennifer and I met, I just know that writing brought us together. We started emailing back and forth and soon discovered we had many things in common.

One being that we both struggled with secondary infertility.

Like Jenny, I was able to get pregnant with our son, who is now four, without any problems. My husband and I took for granted that we’d be able to have another. But after a year and a half of trying, we started to realize that maybe it wasn’t going to happen.

With every negative pregnancy test and every day Brogan got older and every time well-intentioned people asked, “When are you going to give that son or yours a little brother or sister?”, the vision I had for our family began to fade. I won’t lie. The fading was painful.

At the time, I didn’t understand why we couldn’t conceive. There was no medical explanation for it. On paper, we should have been able to get pregnant. So why wasn’t it happening?

Here’s what I’m learning about God:

He doesn’t just close a door to close a door. He closes a door in order to open another.

For us, that other was adoption.

It wasn’t a coincidence that as we struggled with infertility, God kept bringing people into our lives who were adopting. It wasn’t a coincidence that eight years before, for no apparent reason, I wanted to move to Africa so I could love on kids in orphanages all day. It wasn’t a coincidence that God gave me a husband with a tender, tender heart for the helpless and the hurting.

He’d been preparing me to say Yes long before I ever knew adoption was on the table.

So we did. We said yes.

I’ve been paper pregnant for 17 months now, with at least six months left to go.

It hasn’t been easy. In fact, it’s been incredibly hard.

But I’ve experienced first-hand how very much God meets us in the hard. He’s present through it and He has a purpose for it.

He has used the agonizing waits and the endless paperwork and the strain of finances and the ups and downs that inevitably come with adoption to bring forth a fierce, uncompromising love for a child who’s not even mine yet.

He has used this crazy journey to infuse an emotional intimacy in my marriage that wouldn’t have been there otherwise.

He has used the heartache and the unknown to draw me closer and closer to Him.

And I can honestly say, no matter how hard it’s been, that there is no other path I’d rather be on than this one.

If you’d like to join us on this path, you can! We are in the process of raising the rest of the funds we need to bring this precious child home from DR Congo. All that’s involved is a puzzle, a sharpie, and 500 willing hearts. 385 have stepped up so far. Might you considering being one of the 115 remaining? For $10, you can sponsor a piece of our little one’s adoption puzzle (see photo above!!). We will write your name on the back and when the puzzle is complete, we will frame it in double-sided glass and hang it in our child’s room—a beautiful testimony to just how loved and wanted this little one was.

We have 115 pieces left to go! All donations are tax-deductible.

Please shoot me an email (ganshertadoption@gmail.com) if you’d like to donate!

Let’s Talk: What unexpected doors has God opened in your life?

headshot-1-e1332716813182Katie Ganshert was born and raised in the Midwest, where she writes stories about finding faith and falling in love. When she’s not busy plotting her next novel, she enjoys watching movies with her husband, playing make-believe with her wild-child of a son, and chatting with her girlfriends over bagels. She and her husband are in the process of adopting from the Congo. You can find her online at her blog and on Facebook.


Filed under Family, Infertility

To Find Out or Not to Find Out– That Is the Question

It’s a mere three weeks or so until we get to find out our coming baby’s gender.

I’m super excited, especially because we’ve never found out ahead of time before.

That’s right– both of our boys were surprises.

Most people thought we were crazy– I remember when we told the ultrasound techs and the doctor that we didn’t want to know, they said, “Nobody does that anymore!”

But we did. And it was awesome.

When I was pregnant with my first I waffled a bit between finding out the gender or not, and a woman in the church choir gave me an excellent piece of advice. She said that both of her daughter’s-in-law were expecting at the same time and one found out the gender and one didn’t. The one that found out the gender was showered with clothes. The one that didn’t find out was showered with the practical baby needs she had registered for.

I knew we’d get clothes once the baby was born, but it was the baby “stuff” we desperately needed. So, that helped us in the decision not to find out. And we got a lot of great “stuff” that was a huge help to us.

Of course, everything I bought in preparation for both kids was yellow and green. But that was okay with me. I decorated the nursery in teddy bears, and I have to say, I thought it was precious.

I’m a planner, too, so it’s kind of weird that I was able to be so relaxed about not knowing the gender while I was pregnant.

But there’s something magical about that surprise. It’s one of the few genuine surprises left in life, so I wanted to take advantage of it up until the moment that little one entered the world and the doctor said, “It’s a ….!” Boy, in both cases.

There was nothing more exciting than introducing our little ones to our surprised and excited families.

But this time hubby and I are chomping at the bit to find out if Baby Hale #3 is a boy or a girl as soon as we can.

Is it because there’s a chance we’ll get a daughter? Sure. I think so.

But let me be clear– if God gives us another son, We. are. going. to. be. thrilled!

Boy, girl–it doesn’t matter to us a bit.

This time the planning matters. We have re-arranging of bedrooms to do. We have painting to do. We have some serious planning to do be it boy or girl.

So why do I feel like I’m cheating?

As the day of the ultrasound grows closer, I almost feel like I should just chill out and take advantage of this surprise while I can.

After all, it’s a really, really great surprise!

Share with me: Did you find out the gender of your unborn child(ren) or did you wait? Which do you think is more fun?


Filed under Family, Parenting